25 April 2010
Defence Minister Wayne Mapp and Associate Defence Minister Heather Roy have expressed their deepest sympathies to the families and colleagues of the Air Force personnel killed in the early-morning crash of an RNZAF Iroquois helicopter near Wellington today.
"This is a brutal blow for the victims' families, the Air Force and indeed the whole Defence community,” Dr Mapp said.
"It has come on a day when we gather to honour the fallen and those who have served in so many wars. This crew was on its way to Wellington to take part in such a ceremony.
“This accident is a terrible reminder of the dangers Defence Force personnel face - they put themselves in harm's way to preserve our way of life.
"It is a shocking tragedy. We extend our aroha to the families,” he said.
Mrs Roy said that the timing was doubly tragic.
“On a day of national remembrance for Kiwis that have lost their lives serving their country, my thoughts are especially with those who lost their loved ones today.
“This tragedy emphasises the hazards faced by our servicemen and women every day, whether they are deployed on overseas missions or serving at home," she said.
“We offer our sincere condolences to the families of Flight Lieutenant Madsen, Flying Officer Gregory and Corporal Carson. Our thoughts are very much with them,” the Ministers said.
Contact for Minister Mapp: Geoff Davies 04 817 9566 or 021 243 9566.
Contact for Minister Roy: Chas Te Runa 04 817 6640 or 021 936 957.